There is a common phrase we all have heard many times before: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” For a lot of photos, such as those showcased at the awe-inspiring #GirlGaze exhibit, they are worth more than a thousand words – they’re worth a lifetime of memories, they’re worth a step forward in society, and they’re worth seeing the world in a way that we may have never seen it before. It’s amazing to see how photography joins us all together. It can be something as simple as taking a photo of a flower that caught your attention while walking outside of your house or taking a photo of a girl who is breaking down gender stereotypes. The common denominator is that the art of photography brings people closer together, and that is something that should always be celebrated.
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#GirlGaze is an incredible digital platform that was founded by Amanda de Cadenet. It inspires girls to get behind the lens and capture the world as they see it – from all of the beauty, the darkness, and everything in between. We all see things differently, and if you gave two people two cameras, the types of photos and their perspectives in each shot would be completely different. For #GirlGaze, it sends out the positive message that it’s not all about the likes, as we sometimes see our generation fixated on. It’s about showing the creativity and intelligence that women have and showing the world every girl’s unique experience in this world.
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I had the excellent opportunity of visiting the #GirlGaze exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography and I was left in awe with how stunning and moving all of the photos were that were presented at the exhibit. The exhibit starts off broad and as you head towards the back of the exhibit it goes more in-depth about the topics of each of the photos. For instance, when you first enter the exhibit, you see the #GirlGaze: A Frame of Mind area, which gives people the chance to see how girls view the world they live in. In addition, there is another area called “The Girls Who Came Before,” which pays homage to previous female photographers and their influence on female photographers today.
Whether it is a close up portrait of an individual or a photo of a girl in her element, the photos are truly brilliant and each one has a story of its own. I noticed that as I was walking through the exhibit, I saw a photo of a woman who was changing the fashion game with terrific, turquoise hair and glitter around her eyes. I saw a photo of girls enjoying a regular day on the streets where they live as they each had a nice piece of bubblegum. It may seem like such a normal, everyday thing, but for us girls, it’s something more than that. It’s a chance for us to enjoy life and see the beauty in simplicity.
Another area of the exhibit focuses on the darker side of being a female. Us girls know that being who we are is certainly not easy. Society puts a lot of pressure on females to be perfect or conform to society’s norms. This area of the exhibit included touching and emotional photos that shows the struggles that many girls have to deal with including mental illness, grief, and more.
The “Where She Dreams” area of the exhibit really resonated with me the most. This part of the exhibit showed the importance of a girl’s bedroom and gave the type of feel of a bedroom. With dimmer lights and photos arranged as if it were cutouts pasted on a girl’s bedroom wall, this area showed girls in their rooms and how a bedroom is basically like a safe haven for many women. I know that this really hits home for me as my bedroom is where I do all of my work and is a place I look forward to going to after a long day. It’s a place that has a wall filled with some of my most fondest memories and this part of the exhibit really touched me as it reminded me of that.
The #GirlGaze exhibit is truly life-changing and eye-opening. After visiting the exhibit, I felt as though my mind was opened to a lot more things that girls see in this world and deal with. I love how it inspires girls to follow their dreams, to capture that photo, to tell that story, and to discover who they really are. In a time that we need it the most, it’s amazing to see how this exhibit brings us girls together to showcase so many masterpieces and bring so much women encouragement. #GirlGaze introduces the works of photographers worldwide and it’s so great to see how art can bring people together no matter where they are from or what language they speak.
Prepare to be inspired and check out the #GirlGaze exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography open now until February 2017.
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